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Seafarers have recognized the inherent floating stability of spars. From ancient technology, new ideas are often derived. So it was that hollow steel spar-shaped tanks were proposed for use as floating storage and offloading terminals. The first such spar was installed at Shell’s Brent Field in the UK North Sea in 1976. What should be remembered about the Brent Spar was its astounding success as a floating marine facility in one of the harshest sea environments in the world. 

Now the technology is now routinely used, with 15 installations worldwide in water depths to 5,610 ft (1,710 m). Since the original Brent Spar, which was a classic cylindrical tank design, significant improvements have been made. First was the Truss Spar, which substituted an open truss structure for the bottom half of the vessel to add stability. Eleven of these were in service by 2005. The newest design is the Cell Spar, whose unique design is achieved by welding hundreds of cylindrical tanks end-to-end. The first Cell Spar was installed in 2004 in the Gulf of Mexico in 5,300 ft (1,616 m) of water by Kerr McGee. Engineers see no maximum depth limit for spar technology.

Recognizing the pioneering efforts of the following individuals and companies who contributed to spar technology: 

Eddie Goldman, Ed Horton, Frank West, Deep Oil Technology Company (now separately owned by McDermott International and Technip Offshore Inc.) Royal Dutch Shell (Holland) Shell.     


2011 Call for Nominations
2011 Industry Pioneer Nomination Form 
2011 Technology Pioneer Nomination Form

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